C-Command Software Forum


Back there, Michael made a mention of Ironic Software’s OpenMeta:

OpenMeta sounds better, but so far they haven’t released any details about how it works.

Now that some code is out, and that the basics of their solution have been made public, are you considering implementing it? I’m not yet sure I would have a need for it, but it’s the kind of technology that could bring new possibilities to our minds.

I have some concerns about OpenMeta as it’s currently implemented, but ultimately I think it could be faster and more reliable than Spotlight comments for sharing tags.

EagleFiler 1.4.5 imports tags that are stored in the extended attributes under “com.apple.metadata:kOMUserTags”.


Does EagleFiler export tags to OpenMeta (com.apple.metadata:kOMUserTags) or does it just read what’s already there for a file?

If it doesn’t export now, will it in the near future?

Right now it only imports. The plan is to add exporting in the next feature update.

If anyone would like to try a pre-release version of EagleFiler that can write tags to OpenMeta, please e-mail me.

EagleFiler 1.4.7 supports writing to OpenMeta as well as integration with OpenMeta’s list of recent tags.


I have been trying to get my head around OpenMeta by reading some of the exchanges on the Google Groups and Ironic software lists.

From a newbie’s perspective would you recommend using software such as ‘Tags’ or ‘Default Folder’ to tag files before I bring them into EagleFiler? Or should I do all my tagging within EF itself?

Either way I want my tags to be available to Spotlight searches as well as EF library searches. Could somebody explain to me in simple terms the difference between spotlight comments and OpenMeta?



It depends on how you like to get stuff into EagleFiler. Personally, I usually import via the Capture with options key, so it’s easy to add tags at that time. Likewise if you create the documents from within EagleFiler. If you tend to import by saving files into the “To Import” folder, you could use Default Folder to add the tags right from the Save dialog. Tags might be useful if you do significant work with the files in the Finder before putting them into EagleFiler. If you’re the type of person who wants to just dump everything into the library and tag/organize it later, then you would just do the tagging in EagleFiler. So I think it’s simplest to do everything in one application, but depending on your workflow you may find additional software helpful.

From a user perspective, it’s an implementation detail that makes little difference. OpenMeta stores tags in the extended attributes, which is faster and more reliable than the Spotlight comments. (For the EagleFiler user, this makes little difference because its database is even faster and more reliable.) Secondly, the extended attributes are a much nicer system for developers, and so hopefully it will increase the amount of software that can interoperate.

Tags not openmeta compliant , is EF 1001% ?
I just discovered that Tags is not OpenMeta compliant, specifically they do not store a backup in the proper location that OpenMeta dictates. What happens is say once a file is backed in TM , it is not backed up again if the Tags are changed because from TM perpective the file itself has not changed. OpenMeta solves this by creating backup of file references. Tags does not apparently have any back up . As I understand they will start working soon on a 2.0 release that will make Tags OM compliant.
My question is does EF store the backup in the same location OM specifies, or does it rely on its own storage system (which is more secure, but propriety SQL database (or both) .

EagleFiler uses its own tag storage system, which is faster and more reliable than the normal OpenMeta backup. If your Time Machine restore has no OpenMeta tags or the wrong tags, EagleFiler will automatically correct them when you open the library.